Said and Told?

Hi all,

What is the differrence between I said and I told?
Which is perfect in which situation?


“say” and “tell” are quite similiar, both are used in direct and indirect speech. (with “say” being more common in direct speech)

the main difference really is that “tell” is used to “instruct” or “inform” (so don’t use it with greetings, exclamations or questions etc)

examples could be:
I said, “Hello, how are you?” (not I told him “how are you?” as a question is being asked)
He told me to get a haircut (instruction)

hope this clears it up a bit

I found these examples: (I think the best thing you can do is learn by analyzing examples)

He’s always telling lies/fibs.
He won’t tell the truth.
He said to me “Hi, how are you”.
He told me a long story.
He told me to go search somewhere else.
He doesn’t know what he’s saying.

Thank you all,
It will help me.


Just to add ‘’’ the verb ‘tell’ requires an object:

She said she was going out

She told me she was going out.